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What to consider before gifting money to heirs

When people develop estate plans, a common goal is to leave something for their heirs. After all, leaving a legacy becomes more important as people age. But while a large majority of people who put together estate plans intend to leave money to children or other beneficiaries, many wonder whether they are leaving too much or whether a sibling rivalry will be started by differing the amounts to be left to different children.

So while leaving money to heirs may cause quite a bit of consternation, this post will provide some helpful tips. 

Consider your own financial position – Before you set amounts to give away after you pass, you should make certain that you will have enough to meet your own living expenses. You should also have an amount set aside to deal with emergencies.

How old are your heirs – If the people you intend to leave money and assets to are under the age of 18, you may want to consider a trust. This will enable the money to be distributed in a reasonable manner by a trustee who does not answer to the child.

What are your heirs’ financial risks – You should also consider how passing money along will affect the lives of your heirs. Essentially, will the gift only be passed to creditors? Do they have substance abuse issues? These are important questions to answer before putting money into their hands.

If you have additional questions about giving money to heirs, an experienced estate planning attorney can help. 

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